Governor Brown vetoes economic strategy bill

150 150 Ed Coghlan

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Last week, Governor Brown used his veto power on AB 53, a bill, authored by Speaker John Pérez, which required the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) to prepare a California Economic Development Strategic Plan and a triennial report for the Legislature.

The Governor essentially believes the bill unnecessary and that GO-Biz is already doing the work it would require.

In his veto message, Brown pointed out that GO-Biz is currently implementing the state’s new economic development initiative that the Speaker helped make possible earlier this year.

“GO-Biz is expanding direct foreign investment, promoting export of California products, removing unnecessary government barriers for businesses and helping large and small business innovate, grow and prosper in California,” the Governor wrote.

Meanwhile, the 2013 California Economic Summitwill be held next month in Los Angeles, as Californians representing sixteen regions from across the state gather to consider how to improve the state’s ability to create more middle-class jobs and compete more effectively in the global economy.

“To restore the California dream we need quality jobs,” said Jim Mayer, CEO of California Forward, which partners with the California Stewardship Network on the California Economic Summit project. “We value the participation of GO-Biz and the many other state agencies participating in the 2013 Summit. We look forward to a lasting relationship that enables state officials to be informed of regional priorities to create jobs, restore upward mobility, and advance environmental sustainability.”

Seven Action Teams recently completed plans to achieve those goals, including modernizing the state’s infrastructure, developing a 21st century workforce, improving access to capital, advancing manufacturing, streamlining regulations, increasing the supply of housing and enhancing the interface between rural and urban landscapes. 

The California Economic Summit process began in early 2012. Regional meetings were held across California and the first statewide Summit was held in Santa Clara. Since then, tremendous progress has been made. We ran a story on that progress last week.

An emerging concern is whether the state may be dividing into two states–the haves and the have-nots. California has more billionaires and more poor people than any state in the union. Joel Kotkin wrote about the economic divide in the Daily Beast last week.

Instead of a North-South divide, it’s more like an East-West split, with the coastal regions of California enjoying an economic rebound while the state lags in the inland areas, like the Inland Empire and the Central San Joaquin Valley. But it’s really much more than that. There are stubbornly persistent pockets of poverty that exist within the Bay Area and Southern California and that haven’t enjoyed a rebound either.

Making sure all of the regions can prosper is a topic which will be explored more at the Summit on November 7-8 in Los Angeles. 


Ed Coghlan

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